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First Light - With Added Snow :(


agthomson
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Well after the debacle of getting my 'scope delivered I checked the forecast lasy night. Great! Clear skies the night after the Super Bowl, when i'll have had 2 hours sleep. Oh well, what's wrong with another tired day at work?

Anyway, I wake up after my 2 hours post-Super Bowl sleep to find blizzard conditions outside. Forecast still says it'll be clear later on so I still planned on gazing aimlessly at the stars. I returned from work around 7pm and found that the two "dark sites" i'd scouted out are inaccessible due to the poor weather, so i'll just have to make do with my back garden.

Due to various objects blocking my view (fence and a house) Anything below Betelgeuse in the South wasn't viewable, and anything below the moon to the west was also off limits - meaning no first view of Jupiter.

My first target, before it disappearded out of view was the moon. I lined up the finder scope and selected my stock 25mm EP. What a view. The moon filled the EP almost excactly, with about 1mm "space" around the moon. I quickly swapped out for the stock 10mm for a closer look, and I must admit that the images i've seen of the moon don't do the view justice. I have no idea how long I looked at the moon for, but it must have been a while!

As tiredness and freezing conditions set in I quickly went through a small list of targets to compliment my first view of the moon. I found the Pleiades no problem but the view was marred a little by light pollution (filters ahoy?). I then star-hopped over to Aldebaran and Betelgeuse before a brief (and unsuccessful) hunt for M35. Admittedly I was only using Google SkyMap as a guide for my push-to Dob so I could have looked harder.

I did try moving my 'scope round to the front of my house to try and take in the Orion area, but the light pollution made even finding Orion's belt a challenge, so I decided to call it a night.

All-in-all it was a very pleasing night, and good to know my money hasn't gone to waste. I also now have a much much better idea of what purchases I should prioritise as I expand my kit.

Looking forward to my next clear skies,

Andy

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